By Mike Unger
It's not breakfast, it's not lunch. Brunch is the best of both worlds (bloody marys! mimosas!), and Baltimore is packed with great places for a leisurely Sunday meal. Brunch in Baltimore is a treasure, and these are the places serving the best treats.
**Denotes a Baltimore.About.com Guide favorite
550 Light St.
Champagne brunch at Brightons in the InterContinental Hotel includes complimentary house champagne, Kir Royale, mimosas and freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juices. Select an appetizer and entrée, then enjoy the buffet table filled with fresh fruit and cheeses. Finish with a wide selection of creative desserts.
801 Eastern Ave.
The food is just one of the attractions at this Little Italy restaurant, which pairs brunch with jazz on Sundays. There are breakfast options along with Italian dishes on the a la carte menu.
10 Art Museum Dr.
Located in the Baltimore Museum of Art, Gertrude's is famed chef John Shields' masterpiece of Maryland food. Served Saturday and Sunday, the a la carte brunch menu features delicious dishes like Eggs Crabette, spicy east-meets-west crab cakes with poached eggs and tomato on a toasted English muffin with a tomato-jalapeno hollandaise sauce. Also great are the Tilghman Island Eggs, single-fry oysters, poached eggs and tomato on a toasted English muffin, hollandaise sauce on top. The food and its beautiful setting inside the museum and outside on a terrace near a reflecting pool make Gertrude's one of my favorite brunch spots in the city.
2908 O'Donnell St.
1222 Hull St.
The South Baltimore neighborhood bar and restaurant has been garnering praise for its Sunday brunch for years. It features diverse offerings like smoke peppered bluefish and vegetarian red beans and rice in addition to staples like pancakes, French toast and smoked bacon and country sausage. Cost is $16.95 per person, children under 12 are half off.
1325 Key Highway
One of the liveliest places on my list also is one of the tastiest. The bottomless bloody marys and mimosas tend to draw a younger crowd, but people of all ages enjoy the Cuban-inspired dishes (try the Huevos Mixtos). The outdoor patio overlooking the water can't be beat in the spring and summer. $14.95 per person.
1201 Shawan Rd.
A lovely country setting and an elegant and diverse brunch menu make this a great place to celebrate an occasion. The a la carte menu is fairly evenly divided between dinner and breakfast fare.
1710 Thames St.
A Fells Point favorite, Waterfront has a large a la carte menu that includes gems like the Hangover Helper, three pancakes or French toast with three eggs any style. There are also dishes like crab cakes, chicken fried steak and pork chops to go along with traditional breakfast dishes. Bottomless bloody marys or mimosas can be had for $10.
700 S. Potomac St.
This cozy Canton corner bistro serves delicious brunch dishes like the Maryland-style benedict, a stack of two poached eggs, sautéed spinach and lump crab meat drizzled with Old Bay hollandaise sauce atop an English muffin. Excellent bloody marys are just $3.